Ronaldo beats Messi to scoop football’s most prestigious prize

Cristiano Ronaldo has beaten rival Lionel Messi to scoop his fourth Ballon d'Or award

The Real Madrid striker is just one award away from equaling Messi’s career tally after the Barcelona striker clinched the runner-up award and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann took home third place prize at the star studded ceremony on Monday night.

Ronaldo was instrumental in Real Madrid’s Champions League win last season as well as his national team’s win at the Euro 2016 final where he netted three goals for Portugal.

“I never thought in my mind that I would win the Golden Ball four times. I am pleased. I feel so proud and happy,” Ronaldo was quoted saying in a BBC report.

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“I have the opportunity to thank all of my teammates, the national team, Real Madrid, all of the people and players who helped me to win this individual award.”

The Ballon d’Or is a prestigious award voted for by 173 football journalists from around the world and Ronaldo has now won it in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016.

In the 2016 season Ronaldo has scored 38 goals in 42 games, with 14 assists. He’s also been directly involved in 39 La Liga goals, netting 31 goals in 30 matches, assisting in nine goals.

Additional reporting by BBC